Can kids eat tiramisu?

Because tiramisu is not heated in any way, all of the alcohol that you include in your recipe will wind up in the finished dessert, making it inappropriate for youngsters to eat. Typically, the coffee and wine or liquor are combined and then used to soak the ladyfingers.

Traditional recipes for tiramisu contain two alcohols, Marsala wine and rum. There’s also a liberal dose of caffeine in the form of coffee and espresso, but let’s stick to one vice at a time. Tiramisu is also not cooked, which means that all the alcohol used in its making is still potent.

Even if it were cooked, most of the alcohol would still remain. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, different types of cooking affects how much alcohol remains. Pure ethyl alcohol – drinking alcohol – boils and evaporates at 173 degrees and water boils at 212 degrees. A combination of the two will boil somewhere in between. Ultimately you can boil off alcohol (and water, for that matter), but only if there is no lid on the pot; otherwise the alcohol and the water will condense and be reabsorbed.

The USDA offers some startling statistics on what type of cooking retains the most alcohol. Ironically, the most dramatic presentation in cooking – flambeing – is one of the least effective when it comes to removing alcohol.

– Flaming or flambeing something will allow up to 75 percent of the original alcohol to remain.

– Adding alcohol to a boiling liquid and removing it from the heat will allow 85 percent to remain.

– Baking something without stirring another ingredient into a mixture (adding it on top) will allow up to 45 percent to remain.

– Baking or simmering something uncovered will allow alcohol to diminish at a rate of about 10 percent per half an hour. That means it will take three to 31?2 hours to remove all alcohol from a cooked item.

“So what?” you say. Leaving a little bit of alcohol isn’t going to cause anyone any problems.

Let’s look at our kids again. In California it is illegal for an adult to sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, alcohol to an underage person. Furthermore, a parent can be charged with a crime if that parent (or guardian) allows his or her child under the age of 18 to consume alcohol at home if that child has a blood-alcohol concentration of .05 percent and drives a vehicle that is involved in an accident. In addition, “contributing to the delinquency” charges may also come into play.

Don’t forget: Children are smaller than adults, and that’s a factor here. If it takes a 180-pound adult two shots of an alcoholic beverage in an hour (about 21?2 ounces) to reach a blood-alcohol concentration of about .10 percent, a child half that size would reach that blood-alcohol level after only 11?4 ounces. So a 90-pound child would reach the legal limit of .05 percent after only four teaspoons of alcohol (a little more than a tablespoon).